Zamfara State

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Zamfara جهار زمفر 
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Location of Zamfara State in Nigeria
Coordinates: 12°10′N6°15′E / 12.167°N 6.250°E / 12.167; 6.250 Coordinates: 12°10′N6°15′E / 12.167°N 6.250°E / 12.167; 6.250
Country Flag of Nigeria.svg  Nigeria
Date created 1 October 1996
Capital Gusau
  BodyGovernment of Zamfara State
Bello Mohammed Matawalle (APC)
  Deputy Governor Mahdi Aliyu Gusau (PDP)
  Legislature Zamfara State House of Assembly
   Senators C: Hassan Muhammed Gusau (APC)
N: Sahabi Alhaji Yaú (APC)
W: Lawal Hassan Anka (APC)
   Representatives List
  Total39,762 km2 (15,352 sq mi)
Area rank 7th of 36
 (2021 Census)
  Total9,278,873 [1]
  Rank 11th of 36
Demonym(s) Zamfaran
  Total$4.12 billion [2]
  Per capita$1,237 [2]
Time zone UTC+01 (WAT)
ISO 3166 code NG-ZA
HDI (2018)0.415 [3]
low · 32nd of 37
A boy in Maru Local Government Area Boy in Zamfara State.jpg
A boy in Maru Local Government Area

Zamfara is a state in northwestern Nigeria. Its capital is Gusau and its current Governor is Bello Matawalle. Until 1996, the area was part of Sokoto State.


Zamfara is mostly populated with the Hausa and Fulani people. The Zamfarawa mainly in Anka, Gummi, Bukkuyum and Talata Mafara Local Governments areas. Gobirawa populated Shinkafi Local Government. Gobirawa actually migrated from the Gobir Kingdom. Burmawa are found in Bakura and Fulani peopled Bungudu, Maradun, Gusau and are scattered all over the State. In Chafe, Bungudu and Maru, most are mainly Katsinawa, Garewatawa and Hadejawa. While Alibawa peopled Kaura Namoda and Zurmi, while Alawan Shehu Usmanu Fulani Are Found in Birninmagaji.

It is bordered to the north by the Republic of the Niger, to the south by Kaduna State, to the east by Katsina State, and to the west by the states of Sokoto and Niger. It has a population of 9,278,873 according to the 2006 census and contains fourteen local government areas.


The people of Zamfara have over the years struggled for autonomy, but it was not until 1996 that the then military administration of the late General Sani Abacha detached the Zamfara State from Sokoto State with an area of 38,418 square kilometres. The first Governor was Jibril Yakubu.

The area today called Zamfara state was one of the old states like Kano, Katsina, Gobir, Kabi and Zazzau. The earliest inhabitants of Zamfara were said to have been hunters and giants. [4] They established their first settlement at Dutsi, which was the first capital of Zamfara. It extends up to the bend of River Rima to the north west and River Ka in the south west. Zamfara Kingdom was established in the 11th century and flourished up to 16th century as a city-state. Its capital has shifted with the fortunes of the kingdom from place to place like Dutsi and Birnin Zamfara.

In the first half of the 18th century, its then capital Birnin Zamfara, was destroyed by the Gobir Kingdom and a new capital was established in Anka by the second half of the 19th century. Zamfara had many centers of commerce and scholarship that attracted many scholars like the Yandoto city. It became part of the Sokoto Caliphate after the 1804 jihad by Usman dan Fodio. In fact, Usman Danfodiyo settled in Sabon Gari where Sarkin Zamfara Abarshi had already established a garrison headquarters during the early days of his Jihad as a base from where fought Gobir and Kabi. [5]

At the wake of British colonialism, the emerging town of Gusau became an important commercial and administrative center with road and rail networks passing through it. With the creation of states during the Gowon Administration, Zamfara Kingdom became part of the then North West state and later the Sokoto State. [5]


The climate condition of Zamfara is tropical with temperatures rising up to 38 °C (100.4 °F) and above between March and May. Rainy season starts in late May to September while the mild season known as Harmattan lasts from December to April.

Local Government Areas

Zamfara State consists of fourteen (14) Local Government Areas. They are:


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A household

Zamfara State is mainly populated by Hausa and Fulani people, with some members of Gwari, Kamuku, Kambari, Dukawa, Bussawa and Zabarma ethnic communities. [6] Others include the Igbo, Yoruba, Kanuri, Nupe and Tiv.

The state capital is an important commercial center with a heterogeneous population of people from all over Nigeria. As in all major towns in Nigeria, all the major towns in Zamfara have a large population of other peoples from different parts of Nigeria.


Hausa is the official language of the state. Other main languages spoken in Zamfara are English, French, Fulfulde, Arabic; minority populations also speak languages like: Yoruba and Igbo.

The Kainji languages C'Lela and Gwamhi-Wuri are spoken in Gummi LGA. Ut-Ma'in is also spoken in the state and in Kebbe, Sokoto State. [7]


Gathering firewood in rural Zamfara Gathering firewood in Nigeria.jpg
Gathering firewood in rural Zamfara
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A camel being transported home from a market

Agriculture and gold mining are the state's main occupations and the central source of income. Irrigation is required for cereals and legumes, hence the slogan "farming is our pride". [8]

Over 80 percent of the population is engaged in agriculture. Major products include millet, guinea corn, maize, rice, groundnut, cotton, tobacco and beans. [9]


A list of tertiary institutions in Zamfara state include:


In 2009, gold mining became a greater source of income in Zamfara State as worldwide gold prices rose dramatically. [13] High concentrations of lead in the ore from which gold was being extracted led to a lead poisoning outbreak in the state, requiring national and international intervention to remediate affected areas and provide medical care to children with severe lead poisoning.

Bandit attacks

Bandit gangs are very active in Zamfara.

On 26 February 2021, 279 girls were abducted from their boarding school located in Jangebe, Zamfara during the Zamfara kidnapping. They have since been released. [14]

From 11-12 June 2021, bandits killed over 50 villagers, mostly farmers.

From 4–6 January 2022, over 200 people were killed by bandits in Zamfara State. [15]


Islam is the principal and major religion of the state. Christianity also has many adherents. The original native religions also remain but they have the fewest followers. These religions are mainly practiced in ancient settlements like Dutsi and Kwatarkwashi. Zamfara was the first state in Nigeria to introduce Sharia law during the tenure of Ahmad Sani Yerima, the former Governor of the state.


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Mount Kwatarkwashi

Zamfara State holds some number of tourist attractions which are of historical or religious importance. These include Jata, an ancient settlement of Zamfara located around the hill with a large cave around where traditional practices were performed. [9]

Notable people

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Baobab trees

See also

Related Research Articles

Sokoto Capital city of Sokoto State, Nigeria

Sokoto is a major city located in the extreme northwest of Nigeria, near the confluence of the Sokoto River and the Rima River. As of 2006 it has a population of people over 427,760. Sokoto is the modern-day capital of Sokoto State and was previously the capital of the north-western states.

Fulani War

The Fulani War of 1804–1808, also known as the Fulani Jihad or Jihad of Usman dan Fodio, was a military conflict in present-day Nigeria and Cameroon. The war began when Usman Dan Fodiyo, a prominent Islamic scholar and teacher, was exiled from Gobir by King Yunfa, one of his former students.

Sokoto Caliphate Independent Islamic Caliphate, in West Africa from 1804 to 1903

The Sokoto Caliphate was a Sunni Muslim caliphate in West Africa. It was founded by Usman dan Fodio in 1804 during the Fulani jihads after defeating the Hausa Kingdoms in the Fulani War. The boundaries of the caliphate make up present-day Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Niger, and Nigeria. It was dissolved when the British and Germans conquered the area in 1903 and annexed it into the newly established Northern Nigeria Protectorate and Kamerun respectively.

Kebbi State State of Nigeria

Kebbi State is a state in northwestern Nigeria, bordered to the east and north by the states of Sokoto and Zamfara, and to the south by Niger State while its western border forms part of the national borders with Benin Republic and Niger. Named for the city of Birnin Kebbi—the state's capital and largest city—Kebbi State was formed from a part of Sokoto State on 27 August 1991. Of the 36 states of Nigeria, Kebbi is the tenth largest in area and 22nd most populous with an estimated population of about 4.4 million as of 2016.

Northern Region, Nigeria Former autonomous division within Nigeria

Northern Nigeria was an autonomous division within Nigeria, distinctly different from the southern part of the country, with independent customs, foreign relations and security structures. In 1962 it acquired the territory of the British Northern Cameroons, which voted to become a province within Northern Nigeria.

Gusau Place in Zamfara State, Nigeria

The city of Gusau, located in northwestern Nigeria, is the capital of Zamfara State. It is also the name of the state's Local Government Area (LGA), which has an area of 3,364 km (2,090 mi)² and a population of 383,162 as of the 2006 census.


Gobir was a city-state in what is now Nigeria. Founded by the Hausa in the eleventh century, Gobir was one of the seven original kingdoms of Hausa land, and continued under Hausa rule for nearly seven hundred years. Its capital was the city of Alkalawa. In the early 19th century elements of the ruling dynasty fled north to what is today Niger from which a rival dynasty developed ruling as Sarkin Gobir at Tibiri. In 1975 a reunited traditional sultanate took up residence in Sabon Birni, Nigeria.

Local government areas of Nigeria

Nigeria has 774 local government areas (LGAs), with each being administered by a local government council consisting of a Chairman, who is the chief executive, and other elected members, who are referred to as Councillors. Each LGA is further subdivided into a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 20 Wards. A Ward is administered by a Councillor, who reports directly to the LGA Chairman. The Councillors fall under the legislative arm of the local government, the third tier of government in Nigeria, below the state governments and the federal government.

Gusau Dam Dam along Sokoto River

The Gusau Dam holds a reservoir on the Sokoto River just upstream from Gusau, capital of Zamfara State in Nigeria. It supplies water to the city and neighboring communities. In 2006, the dam collapsed, killing 40 people and destroying 500 homes.

Nigerian National Assembly delegation from Zamfara

The Nigerian National Assembly delegation from Zamfara comprises three Senators representing Zamfara West, Zamfara Central, and Zamfara North, and seven Representatives representing Bakura/Maradun, Gummi/Bukkuyum, Bungudu/Maru, Kaura Namoda/Birnin Magaji, Tsafe/Gusau, Zurmi/Shinkafi, and Anka/Mafara.

Gummi, Nigeria LGA and town in Zamfara State, Nigeria

Gummi is a Local Government Area in Zamfara State, Nigeria. Its headquarters are in the town of Gummi at12°08′30″N5°07′30″E .

Isa, Nigeria LGA and town in Sokoto State, Nigeria

Isa is a town and Local Government Area in the state of Sokoto in Nigeria. It shares borders with Shinkafi in Zamfara State, Goronyo and Sabon Birni from west and north respectively in Sokoto and the Republic of Niger in the east.

Kaura Namoda LGA and town in Zamfara State, Nigeria

Kaura Namoda is a Local Government Area in Zamfara State, Nigeria. Its headquarters are in the town of Kaura-Namoda, home to the Federal Polytechnic, Kaura-Namoda. It has an area of 868 km2 and a population of 281,367 at the 2006 census.

Shinkafi LGA and town in Zamfara State, Nigeria

Shinkafi is a Local Government Area in the Zamfara State of Nigeria. Its headquarters are in the town of Shinkafi an area of about 674mk2 and population of 135,649. It shares boundaries with Isa Local Government Area and Niger Republic from the north, Zurmi Local Government Area to the South and South-East, Maradun Local Government Area and Raba Local Government Area by the west. Distance from the State Capital, Gusau is approximately 116 km.

Garba Nadama was a Nigerian politician who was the second civilian governor of Sokoto State, Nigeria, in the short-lived Nigerian Second Republic, holding office from January 1982 to November 1983. He succeeded Shehu Kangiwa, who had died in a polo accident.

Ahmed Rufai Sani Yerima was Governor of Zamfara State, Nigeria from May 1999 to May 2007, and served as Senator for Zamfara West and Deputy Minority Leader in the Senate. He is a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Ahmadu Atiku 5Th Caliph of the Sokoto Caliphate

Ahmadu Atiku also known as Ahmadu Zarruku was Sultan of Sokoto from 1859 to 1866. Prior to becoming Sultan, he was head of the Abu Bakr Atiku branch of Uthman Dan Fodio's family and held the title of Sarkin Zamfara with responsibilities for Sokoto town and south-east Sokoto. Atiku established the military settlement (ribat) at Chimmola which was across the valley from the town of Wurno and which he used as the seat of government.

Abdur Rahman Atiku sometimes known as, Abdu or Abd al-Rahman bin Atiku was Sultan of Sokoto from 1891 to 1902. In earlier vacancies, he had been a contender from the house of Atiku, but the house had been passed over three times since the death of Ahmadu Rufai in 1873. Abubakar Na Rabah, Mu'azu and Umaru bin Ali subsequent Sultans after Rufai were from the house of Muhammed Bello.

The 2019 Nigerian House of Representatives elections in Zamfara State was held on February 23, 2019, to elect members of the House of Representatives to represent Zamfara State, Nigeria. The All Progressives Congress won all seats but the Supreme Court nullified the elections of all the candidates of the APC in the elections. The court ruled that the APC did not conduct valid primaries in the build-up to the elections. A unanimous judgement by a five-member panel of Judges decided that the party had no valid candidate and cannot be said to have won the general elections.

The 2019 Zamfara State House of Assembly election was held on March 9, 2019, to elect members of the Zamfara State House of Assembly in Nigeria. All the 24 seats were up for election in the Zamfara State House of Assembly.


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